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A simple but smart note-taking app

FromScratch is a little app that you can use as a quick note taking or todo app.

  • Small and simple, the only UI is the text you type
  • Saves on-the-fly, no need to manually save
  • Automatic indenting
  • Note-folding
  • Use checkboxes to keep track of your TODO's
  • Powerful keyboard control
  • Replaces common syntax with symbols, such as arrows
  • Dark and Light theme
  • Portable mode support
  • Free


  • f1 - show/hide shortcut overview
  • cmd/ctrl+up - move current line up
  • cmd/ctrl+down - move current line down
  • cmd/ctrl+d - delete current line
  • cmd/ctrl+w/q - close application
  • cmd/ctrl +/= - zoom text in
  • cmd/ctrl - - zoom text out
  • cmd/ctrl+0 - reset text size
  • cmd/ctrl+]/[/k - fold note collapsing
  • cmd/ctrl+f - search (you can also use regular expressions, by starting and ending with a /)
  • shift+cmd/ctrl+f - replace
  • shift+cmd/ctrl+r - replace all
  • cmd/ctrl+g - jump to line (you can also use : notation, or go relative lines with + and -)
  • cmd/ctrl+/ or cmd/ctrl+l - Add or toggle a checkbox
  • f11 - Toggle fullscreen
  • cmd/ctrl+i - Toggle between light and dark theme
  • alt - show or hide menu (Windows only)
  • cmd/ctrl+s - ...this does nothing.


Recent downloads for macOS, Windows and Linux available on

For Arch users, FromScratch is available on AUR

For macOS, you can also install FromScratch via Homebrew: $ brew cask install fromscratch


# Download from git
git clone

# Install dependencies
cd fromscratch && npm install

# build and run
npm start

# or run dev version
npm run dev

Command Line Arguments

Portable Mode --portable

Lets you store all the files FromScratch generates in a specified location, such as a USB-stick or other portable storage device. In this mode both the configuration files as well as your text content will be stored in a "userdata" directory alongside the FromScratch executable, or when given a directory as an argument, will store the files there.

You can also use this to store the FromScratch configuration files, and the text content, in a synced cloud storage folder.

# run FromScratch in portable mode, saving data in application directory.
fromscratch --portable
# run FromScratch in portable mode, saving data in custom directory.
fromscratch --portable ~/fromscratch_data

help -h, --help

Prints help information


Where is my data saved?

Your data is saved in a plain text file content.txt. On Mac and Linux, this file is saved in ~/.fromscratch. On Windows this file is saved in a directory called ".fromscratch" in your userprofile directory.

Can my data be saved in an alternate directory?

Yes! See the portable mode section under the Command Line Arguments heading above.


FromScratch is built upon these open source projects: Electron, React, Fira Code, CodeMirror and Electron-react-boilerplate.

Thanks to @bittersweet for helping me set up IPC to work around a particularly nasty bug, @chentsulin for the electron-react-boilerplate, and @ctrauma for the portable bits.